Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So thinking of moving to LA from Phoenix sometime next year. I have lots of other questions but this one just deals with moutain biking. I haved lived in Phoenix for about 4 years, I rode in New England lots before moving here and getting on a bike again after a 10 year hiatus. I am still more of a Noob but continue to ride and get my skills back and improve on those.

My main questions on LA is ease of trail access to the center of the city(or surrounding). I will more then likely live somewhere in West LA or in the vicinity. How close are the closest trails? Can you ride to any trail heads in the area? How many trails are we talking about?

I am trying to get a good comparison to Phoenix. I feel like I am kind of spoiled right now. I live close to the Phoenix Mountain preserve which is smack dab about North/Central Phoenix. I can ride on paths, roads for 4 miles or so and be on a trailhead with access to lots of trails and lots of mileage. Other places aren't so great but a trail is usually only a 15 min car ride from most anywhere I would live in Phoenix. The trails are pretty good for the most part, typical desert trails(rocky, dusty) etc but being so close to the city you still feel like you are "getting away". Everything is multi-use here for the most part(hike/bike/horse).

Flagstaff and Sedona are 90-120 min car ride away and offer different riding and riding in the summer months when Phoenix is unbearable.

Anyone who actually lives in the general area I am talking about, it would be great if you could give your thoughts on the "mountain bike" friendliness of La-La land. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
If you live near downtown LA...try to live in the pasadena/glendale area. Just minutes north of downtown and near the Angeles Mountains...miles and miles of epic trails (research strawberry peak, brown, switzer, gabs) located about 15 minutes north of pasadena and glendale.

By west LA, you mean the santa monica area...right? If not, you want to mean the santa monica area...anywhere else you'll be pressed to hit the trailheads in under an hour. Just north of santa monica is the santa monica mountains (backbone, sullivan, sycamore) with miles of sweet singletrack. Check out this link www.geoladders.com and map out some of the trails in those areas or pack up the bike and experience it...Phoenix is not that far.

I would recommend santa monica...only because it is near the ocean (beaches n babes) and is cooler in the summer...but being from arizona you can probably handle the heat. good luck.
 

·
Glad to Be Alive
Joined
·
43,009 Posts
it really depends on where you live. You could be right smack in some great trail areas....within 40 minutes there are litterally over 50 trails if not more to ride
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys, by West LA I mean Santa Monica area or West Hollywood somewhere in that vicinity. It sounds like in Santa Monica I will be somewhat close to trails but not in West Hollwood? I am headed to LA next weekend to scout out some area and hopefully see some of the trails. I am doing a hike up Runyon Canyon so I was wondering if there are MTB trails around there or are those purely hiking trails.

Right now I can get home from work, jump on my bike spend 4-5 miles or 20 minutes or so on pavement on be on dirt. That allows me to ride alot more, but again not ALL of Phoenix is like that so it will probably again depend on where I move but I guess that is kind of why I am asking as being closer to trailheads will sway my decision.

I should probably bring my bike when I am out there next weekend and see for myself, I just dont't know if I will have time.

Maybe someone out there that used to live in Phoenix that now lives in LA can chime in?(Although most people seem to be moving from LA to Phoenix)

Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
401 Posts
you definitely want to be in the west LA, santa monica area rather than west hollywood if you want to ride locally. West hollywood is far from any major trail system and you will have to drive 25-45 minutes depending on traffic to get to the santa monicas or san gabriels. Runyan canyon is a good hiking spot but its pretty much a steep paved fireroad climb and a quick descent down a steep and rutted ridge. It's more of a dog walking spot or quick hike trail. your best bet is too live close to the hills or near the freeway- west hollywood is far from the freeway and not convenient for quick rides. When you plan on coming you can shoot me a pm and I'd be happy to show you some local spots, I live in the culver city area which is slightly south of santa monica, west LA. gl
 

·
Over the Hill
Joined
·
1,769 Posts
If the decision of where to live in LA basin is based on being close to good riding then cities up against the San Gabriel Mountain like Altadena, Sierra Madre, La Crescenta and Monrovia have good riding from your door step. The variety of trails is better in San Gabriels, except now it is under a foot of snow. My favorite San Gab rides: Condor Peak, Mt. Pacifico, Mt.Gleason, and Mt Waterman will all be snowed under until spring.

Last Saturday: Pic of possibly my last high altitude San Gab ride of the year....Mt. Pacifico.

Dean
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
I lived in LA and moved to Phoenix and moving back to LA. Don’t under estimate the traffic in LA. Here in Phoenix it really is traffic hour, ware in LA prime time traffic can last several hours and can make surface streets a long drive. I would agree with others Pasadena area would be great especially if you can find work in that area. The trails in that area are fun and offer a lot of different options; I hope you can climb because I have only found long climbs like LA in Flagstaff. There aren’t any rolling trails like T 100 in the areas you mentioned and nothing as technical as South Mountain. It really depends where you find a job. Than you have to ask yourself do you want a less commute to work or trail head.
Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the feedback all. I guess I will have to wait and see where I would be working, able to live, etc. I like to be somewhat urban where I have lots of the amenities of the "core" of LA but like to get away when I want to as well. I guess that is lots of folks "dream" scenarios so I will probably have to compromise somewhere.

For some reason I was thinking W. Hollywood(area) would be ok because it seems pretty close to the 101(4 miles) and Santa Monica(~10miles). I was looking to be somewhere off from Sunset or Santa Monica Blvd so I didn't think i would be too far from Santa Monica mountains but maybe my geography is off. From looking at a map it looks like you can access it from driving through Beverly Hills heading North??

I will defenitely try to scout some of the areas suggested next weekend and let you know what I find. From looking at the threads there seems to be a pretty decent group of riders just about anywhere in California you end up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
401 Posts
RiseAgainst5 said:
For some reason I was thinking W. Hollywood(area) would be ok because it seems pretty close to the 101(4 miles) and Santa Monica(~10miles).
yes but those 10 miles could take you an hour of stop and go driving during rush hour:madman: Unless you have a flexible schedule and can ride in the middle of the day, the traffic before and after work is horrendous in every direction that intersects with a freeway. Your best bet is to actually live near the base of the hills but that entails moving further away (Pasadena) or into some really expensive neighborhoods in Brentwood or the pacific palisades. To be in the thick of it as you say is to compromise that easy access to trails unfortunately. Weekends are a different story, but I usually reserve those for bigger rides anyway with 45minute to an hour drives.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Rise, i agree with stepper that the san gab foothills provide for some of the most epic rides in so cal...but its a whole different world weather wise...even though only 25 miles apart. I ride the gabs all the time...but its very seasonal...very hot in the summer with knats that are bird size and snowed in the winter...spring usually is wet and with lots of streams n mud...frustrating. Fall seems to be the best riding...

Santa monicas provide for perfect conditions year around...although not as epic as the gabs it still has plenty of sweet single tracks. Plus...LA has many different downtown atmospheres...brentwood n santa monica provide for some of the best nightlife that is perfect after a hard ride...stay away from west hollywood and the sunset nightmare...good luck.
 

·
Working Man's Toilet
Joined
·
834 Posts
I am from San Diego but have lived in LA and PHX. I was east of pasadenda a bit- there is great riding anywhere in the north of the basin IMO. Santa Monica, Glendale, Monrovia, even Glendora/La Verne, if you go south to Orange County, there is also great riding.

As far as a comparison to PHX- particularly trail 100 in Squaw Peak area- GET READY TO CLIMB! LA has mountains and you will climb and then descend. Riding in PHX is more of a race course up-down-up-down-up-down- not many sustained climbs. LA riding- sit and spin- man you can climb FOREVER out there, but the best news is you get to descend FOREVER!
Good luck with your move.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I guess you are right about PHX now that I think about it - not many trails that have sustained climbs, I always though PHX had mountains but its mostly jutting hills I guess and not many trails actually go up the bigger "hills". Guess I will have to get used to climbing more if I make the move.

It sounds like Pasadena area is great for riding, just not sure if if it is my cup of tea for social stuff, plus I am just farther from the beach(a plus moving from Phoenix) and of course its hot in the summer as opposed to being closer to the coast(one thing I don't like about Phoenix, you have to get up before sunrise in the summer to ride and by 8AM you are cooking if your not home yet).

I guess I will check out places closer in proximity to Santa Monica as that seems to be my best bet. Are there multiple entrances to those trails(North, South, etc). I was surprised to not find anything just googling it.
 

·
GONE
Joined
·
26,839 Posts
I have ridden over much of South Mtn in the Phoenix area. I love it there because it is so different than it is here. So keep that in mind. On South Mnt, my fav ride is the Desert Classic because of it's sheer high speed, carving course.

Out here, you will be enveloped in dense brush and bushes. We have lots of hard pack trails with very little sand. Much of our mtn ranges are very steep. In fact, the San Gabriels are some of the steepest mtns in North America so climbing is always in the picture here. You are either climbing or decending up there and it's often rocky but offers some of So Cal's best singletrack.

In the Santa Monica mtns you will find more rolling, twisting, short climb singletrack. That range seems to be made up of dried mud or clay type terrain.

Oak tree groves are fairly abundant out here. Views can be awesome. I live between the San Gabriel and Verdugo mtn ranges. I ride the Verdugo fireroads for endurance and the San Gabs & Santa Monicas for pleasure.

Once you get your fill of what L.A. has to offer, you can go South into Orange County or North into Ventura, Santa Barbara & San Luis Obispo counties.

I am especially fond of San Luis Obispo county, myself.

Good luck and have fun!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
I live in venice and have ridden most of the santa monica mountain trails. There are multiple places to go in up there. You can access them from streets that go up the hills to residential neighborhoods off sunset. Look up will rodgers park and you can google satelite back from there. Lots of inter connecting trails back there. I like the downhills that come from the reseda side off reseda blvd. Less climbing and more technical riding than starting from the west side. The housing in santa monica and hollywood will be really expensive. If you want a little better rate look around in culver city and venice. Are you looking for an apartment or a condo/ house?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
heckler - Probably will just be looking for an apartment/condo unless we can find a house to share rent or somethign. Obviously cost of living in LA is about 3 times what it is in Phoenix(at least for housing, everything else seems close to the same). If we do the move we want to be in an area with lots going on, close to some nightlife, restaurants in areas we like. I actually have looked at Venice as well but not enough, I have heard bad and good but usually the people who are talking bad are just too uptight or critical.

If I can find something around Santa Monica or close to the hills in a decent area I think rents will be a bit more feasable and will still satisfy our quality of life. Basically if we are living in an area we hate, with nothing we enjoy close by we might as well stay in Phoenix and deal with the heat in the summers and no beach.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Santa monica is a great area with alot going on, but most places are pretty expensive. Small one bedroom condos go for 600k. Most people that talk bad about venice have never lived there. You really just have to check out individual places, because housing veries so much from block to block. There are lots of restaurants on main street in between venice and santa monica, and lots more up by the pier. Good luck with the apartment search.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top